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Guidelines for Hours Open Standard 

For Pennsylvania Public Libraries, Office of Commonwealth Libraries

Governor’s Advisory Council on Library Development
Promulgated December 1999
Revised October 25. 2010


A library should not be closed for more than two (2) workdays in a row, and no more than three (3) workdays per week.  A workday is defined as any day of the week when the library is regularly open.

A library can request permission from the Office of Commonwealth Libraries to close for longer periods of time. 

Permission for a closing should be made at least 30 days before the proposed closing will begin.

Examples of reasons for extended closures include but are not limited to:  moving to another building, renovations that would jeopardize public safety, training necessitating all employees attend at same time.

Emergency closings can be granted in the event of natural disaster, damage to facilities that jeopardizes public safety, or other unforeseen situations.  The library should inform the district library consultant and the Office of Commonwealth Libraries as soon as possible.

Closings should be planned to have the least impact on the community while maintaining library services and programming.

A library should arrange an adequate public relations campaign to keep library users informed of the closing and availability of library services at other locations.


  • A library may be closed for up to twelve (12) days per year for holidays. 
  • Specific holidays may differ from one library to another.  
  • Holidays are in addition to the 10-week seasonal reduction in hours permitted each year.
  • A library should not be closed for more than two (2) workdays in a row per holiday.
  • When Christmas and New Year’s Day falls on a Saturday or Sunday, AND the library is regularly open 7 days per week, the library may close for three (3) days in a row for a total of 14 days for holidays that year.